Total US Sales of Electricity Down Last Year

 Total US Sales of Electricity Down Last Year

Total U.S. electricity sales in 2015 fell 1.1 percent from the previous year, representing the fifth time sales have fallen in the past eight years, according to a report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
 
The slump reflects declining electricity sales in the industrial sector and little growth in sales to the residential and commercial building sectors, despite growth in the total number of households and commercial buildings. The report also cites market saturation, increased-efficiency electrical equipment, slowing economic growth and the changing composition of the economy as drivers in the current down trend.
 
The report notes that energy efficiencies of consumer equipment have lately improved, impacting the sale of electricity, especially to the residential and commercial sectors. Some efficiency improvements have been market-driven, reflecting the best interest of consumers in reducing energy expenditures, while other improvements relating to electricity use in homes and commercial buildings are due to federal and state energy policies, including efficiency standards for appliances and lighting. In states that regulate electricity distribution through public utility commissions, some policies have mandated that utilities provide customers with energy efficiency programs accompanied by significant rebates for users who upgrade to more efficient equipment. Some states have also adopted more stringent building codes that minimize the amount of electricity required for heating and cooling.
 
In addition to decreased electricity sales to residential and commercial customers, the report also notes reduced sales in the industrial sector but notes that these decreases mainly reflect economic factors. 



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